Law & Order: Los Angeles

Season 1 Episode 2

Echo Park

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 06, 2010 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
57 votes
  • This plot had a lot of potential but, unfortunately, it didn't deliver.

    The storyline could have been an excellent one. A former member of the Echo Park Tribe is released from prison after a thirty year stretch for murder which she participated in along with a group of others in August, 1979, the 10th anniversary of the Manson Family murders of Sharon Tate and her friends and Leno and Rosemary LoBianco.

    When the woman is caught drinking alone at Venice Beach, a local police officer tells her this is not permitted, so she pours the alcohol into the sand. Soon after, she is found murdered and it looks certain that her death is a case of revenge. Unfortunately, we all get just a little bit sidetracked by the fact that Detective Winters' wife was once involved in an arson case which could lead to conflict of interest, among other things.

    What could have been good was not. I expect a lot better from Dick Wolf and his team.
  • fascinating

    Whenever any of the Law and Order franchise episodes refer back to the past it is almost always an interesting episode as was the case with this one. Inmate abuse is rampant in our prisons and the more it is exposed the more attention will be paid to it. What that poor woman, who was jailed wrongly in the first place, went through is unspeakable. It did not justify the murder of the cult follower but with all the anger she had stored up inside it's a wonder she didn't do more than just stab her. While the jury is still out on this series, I feel it is moving in the right direction. Stay tuned.
  • bleh episode

    I had high hopes for this one. No sooner did it begin with an out-of-place musical opening scene that I said to myself 'yikes, this is the type of gimmicky thing they did on Criminal Intent when it was losing steam.' Storyline seemed like it was ripped from the headlines... of the original Law & Order. Of course, that show had a well-tuned cast- LOLA has to work on that. I thought that Terrence Howard was alright... his assistant was blah, his boss was double-blah. I think NBC will learn pretty quickly that canceling the original was a bad idea- chemistry doesn't always come easily. Skeet Ulrich is a good lead. Guy with mustache that looks like 80s porn star is okay. Police chief is kinda blah. I think they should take some desperate measures and bring in Benjamin Bratt as Lieutenant Curtis- his character lives in California, doesn't he? Well, doesn't he?
  • Underwhelming second episode. A woman from a cult inspired by the Manson Family is released only to be murdered herself. The investigation leads to an arson case built on faulty evidence and the investigating detective was Det. Rex Winters' wife Lori.

    The first episode was pretty good, but the second has fallen dramatically in quality. The main difference is that instead of Assistant D.A. played by Alfred Molina we have the one played by Terrence Dashon Howard. Instead of hustle and flow, we get a crash. But Terrence Dashon Howard is not the problem. It is a very poorly written story. Investigating a cult based on the Manson family sounds like it could be the basis for an interesting show, but they didn't make much of the material. The Echo Park Murders had supposedly terrorized the city, but if they did, it was a very faint echo. Was there really anything resembeling the Manson Family in Echo Park or elsewhere? To me, it seems like they should have just built it around the Manson Family, or used a fictional version of the Manson Family like the Shanson Family or something, that would be understood to be the Manson Family. Like in the first episode, it was obviously Lindsay Lohan, even if a lot of the details were changed, so it wasn't really Lindsay Lohan.

    The stories of L&O are always, it seems, ripped from the headlines, or ripped off from the headlines and altered in strange ways.

    Did the start using the Duh Dun sound yet? Or are they still saving that? To be perfectly honest, I fell asleep watching this, but I saw pretty much everything except I don't remember seeing Denis Watson, who was supposed to be the Charles Manson-like figure who ruled the cult from behind bars. There was a whole subplot about a possible witness or even a suspect being falsely charged with arson. She had spent time with Echo Park cult member/murder victim "Baby" Jane Lee Rayburn (Nancy Youngblut) when she was her cell mate. Did you ever see "Backdraft" with William Baldwin and Kurt Russell? Well, "Backdraft" called LOLA and they want their plot back. It seemed pointless to involve Rex Winters' wife, or if there was a point, what was it? What had she even done? It seemed like the problem may have been an incompetent arson investigator, and if so, why was retired Detective Lori Winters (Teri Polo) at fault? Peter Coyote played the D.A. who wanted to sweep the whole mess under the rug. I like Peter Coyote but here he just acts more like a weasel than a coyote. Deputy D.A. Joe Dekker (Terrence Dashon Howard) is told not to mention the shakey evidence, especially if it would harm Rex Winters' wife. Dekker just goes ahead and does it anyway. It is not very dramatic. It is kind of just abrupt with no leading up to it. There could have been a little more dramatic tension between Coyote and Howard. Det. T.J. Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll) is supposed to be Winters' partner, but he was barely given anything to say. Even Skeet Ulrich was lackluster, after an impressive beginning in the previous episode. All in all, this latest offering from Dick Wolfe is very disappointing. If this is the replacement for the mothership, the original Law & Order series that ran 20 years, almost surpassing Gunsmoke in longevity, spawning multiple successful spin-offs, than Dick Wolfe's franchise is in serious trouble. This won't make it 20 years. It will be lucky if it isn't canceled in 20 minutes.